Georgia’s top emergency management official is stepping down in December to take a private-sector gig after about two years on the job, the latest significant shakeup of Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration.
Jim Butterworth has led the Georgia Emergency Management Agency since November 2014, when he was tapped to replace Charley English. English had been on the hot seat for a series of embarrassing mishaps during the icy blast that brought metro Atlanta to a standstill earlier that year.
Butterworth, who was previously the head of the Georgia National Guard, was charged with implementing a new weather strategy that was devised after the 2014 storm. The winter weather task force appointed by the governor has led to more equipment and more aggressive efforts to keep roads clear long before snowflakes fall.
Deal’s office indicated Monday that Butterworth’s departure had nothing to do with the state’s response to Hurricane Matthew, which forced millions to evacuate and killed at least four people in Georgia. Top Deal aide Chris Riley said discussions with Butterworth began more than a month ago and that he decided to leave office Sept. 26.
He is set to be replaced Dec. 1 by Homer Bryson, the commissioner of the Department of Corrections. Deal said he would tap Greg Dozier, who was a top Bryson deputy, to succeed him.
It’s the latest in a flurry of activity from Deal’s office. He tapped Chris Carr, the head of the state’s economic development arm, on Wednesday to replace outgoing Attorney General Sam Olens. And he appointed Carr’s deputy Pat Wilson on Friday to lead the Department of Economic Development.
THE STORY SO FAR:
Earlier: The governor’s administration recently has seen new leaders in the attorney general and economic development offices.
The latest: The state’s top emergency management official announced he is stepping down.
What’s next: Jim Butterworth will depart Dec. 1 and be replaced by the state’s head of corrections.